Rattlers run wild, top Salt Lake for second straight road win
The Arizona Rattlers have struggled to score with consistency all season, topping 40 points just three times in six games of their inaugural IFL season. It’s a departure from their time in the Arena Football League, where they were consistently one of the most explosive offenses.
That changed Friday night as the Snakes outlasted the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, 73-60, in front of 3,785 fans at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah for their second straight road win.
The Rattlers (4-3) started fast as former Sun Devil Jamal Miles returned the game’s opening kickoff 56 yards to the house to give Arizona the early lead.
After forcing a missed field goal, the Rattlers took over and marched deep into Salt Lake territory before Miles found the end zone again from a couple yards out to extend the Arizona lead.
When the Eagles scored on the ensuing possession, Rattlers’ quarterback Cody Sokol was looking to answer. However, the Desert Vista product was the victim of a missed assignment and fumbled the ball into the waiting arms of Salt Lake defensive lineman Benjamin Compton, who scampered ten yards for the score to tie the game.
The teams continued to trade scores until the final minute of the half when Eagles’ quarterback Verlon Reed was picked off by Arizona safety Allen Chapman with three seconds to play until halftime.
As time expired, Sokol threw a screen pass to wideout Fred Williams, who broke a tackle, picked up some blocks and raced up the sideline for the go-ahead score. A fake PAT conversion by back-up quarterback Jon Wolf put the Rattlers up 38-29 to end the half.
On the first play of the third quarter, Reed was intercepted again by cornerback Arkeith Brown. Three plays later, Arizona running back Darrell Monroe plunged in for a 2-yard score to give the Rattlers a commanding lead they would not relinquish.
Reed attempted to bring Salt Lake back with a couple dazzling touchdown runs, but the Eagles had no answer for the ground garrison of Monroe and Miles as the duo combined for 180 total yards and nine touchdowns.
The Arizona Rattlers return to Talking Stick Resort Arena on Saturday, April 22 to face the Spokane Empire at 6 p.m.
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